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Mother of Canadian aid worker rejects Israel’s explanation for his death

OTTAWA — The mother of a Canadian Army veteran killed during an attack on humanitarian workers in the Gaza Strip this week is rejecting Israel’s explanation for what happened.

But Sylvie Labrecque says she remains hopeful that the deaths of her son Jacob Flickinger and six of his colleagues will lead to positive change for all aid workers and the people of Gaza.

The seven World Central Kitchen workers died on April 1 when their convoy was attacked after it delivered 100 tonnes of food to a warehouse.

World Central Kitchen says the Israel Defence Force was made aware of the convoy’s movements and the vehicles were clearly marked as belonging to the aid group.

An investigation report published Friday says a colonel in the Israel Defence Force authorized the deadly strikes based on grainy drone-camera footage that led them to incorrectly believe someone in the convoy was carrying a weapon.

Labrecque says the explanation is spurious and she thinks Israel wanted to eliminate the aid workers.

Israel dismissed two military officials and reprimanded three others for the attack.

It is also responding to an ultimatum from U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday.

Biden said continued American support for Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza is dependent on Israel taking concrete steps to allow more humanitarian aid into the territory and better protect aid workers and civilians from harm.

Labrecque says she hopes that will actually happen, in part because of the outpouring of support she has felt for her son since his death.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 5, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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